A while back I came across a very impressive setup for roleplaying. I decided to obtain a setup like this for myself. I don't collect minatures, never got into the habit of buying and/or painting. My preferred game to run, Artemis, already requires a projector, so it was natural fit.
The link was the approach I tried to mimic, but there are others. Some involve upward projection from beneath, but I like my legroom. Some involve mounts affixed to the ceiling, but I wanted something that could be transported to a convention. I am not "handy" in any sense, so I had the frame custom made.
Here's the shopping list and total costs:
- Whiteboard from Carrefour 85 AED
- Optoma GT760 DLP Projector (Short Throw) from Sharaf DG 3299 AED
- Vogel EPC6545 Projector Ceiling Mount from Sharaf DG 469 AED
- Aluminium Frame by Rustam Aluminum & Glass Co. L.L.C. 945 AED
- Total Cost: 4798 AED
The whiteboard, projector, and mount were all easy to obtain. The hard part was explaining what we wanted and finding someone who could make it. Tarek accompanied me to Mussafah, translating and negotiating. We kept being told "No, but try place X down the road", but eventually were sent to Rustam. It took a few visits for them to get all the measurements and exact requirements. It was about 4 trips in total and 10 days to complete. But I imagine this will be much shorter and less painless if anyone orders the same from them again.
The final setup can been seen in this video and photos below.
If anyone were to get one for themselves, I would recommend the following. The whiteboard should be lowered to the base. This would give a nice raised area that would catch rolled dice, etc. The plate the mount was fixed to had very sharp edges. I was able to smooth them down with some sandpaper, but this should have been done. Some people suggested that wing nuts should have been used for easy taking apart and putting back together. I'm not sure if this would work, especially on the base, but it's worth exploring.
I used roll20.net for the Virtual Desktop. The learning curve is somewhat steep, but there is good documentation. You may end up paying for some art assets, but I managed to make do almost entirely with the free stuff. And that was for sci-fi images. It is better catered to fantasy and traditional Dungeons and Dragons. I did pay the $5 a month subscription, it's worth it for the dynamic lighting.